Visitors are coming by
continuously, lounging on the fauteuils,
smoking cheroots as if to send
up-towering clouds into the red and gilt
cage that is Pozzi’s lair.
Pozzi stands, a carmine shrouded potentate,
holds court, his tapered surgeon’s fingers
twist and turn the belt of his robe
in unison with the rise and
fall of murmured conversations.
Amelie shifts briefly, a stilled
Venus de Milo one moment,
her swan neck rising out of her fichu ,
painted pallor a lapidary gleam.
She distracts my eye!
She moves, the next instant, and
alters into a Canova nymph,
russet hair burning against her lavender brow.
Pozzi follows her motions with eyes
captive to her restless posing.
These breathtaking people are coupled.
Gossip follows their every action.
Their glamour seeps into me,
holds my thoughts in their snare.
They are my Venus and Adonis.
(This written in response to reading about J.S. Sargent’s painting of Dr. Pozzi, and finding out that it was while painting Pozzi that Sargent made first aquaintance with Amelie Gautreau. Apparently while modelling for Sargent, Pozzi also entertained visitors, so that must have been a difficult circumstance under which Sargent had to work!)